Research, Analytics and Data Science team values

Valuable insights: The principles behind our new research, analytics, and data science team

Main illustration: Damien Correll

One of our core company values at Intercom is “We obsess about our customers’ success.” We love solving our customers’ most important, most urgent, and most valuable problems. To do this, we believe that understanding our customers and how they use our products holistically is critical.

Gaining that holistic understanding, however, is a huge, ever-changing challenge – it requires deep context into our products, customers, and business. It requires strong partnerships with functions across the company. It requires meaningful collaboration between researchers and data scientists. It requires thought and intentionality around how we store, handle, interpret, and leverage vast quantities of qualitative and quantitative data. And it requires answering the right questions using insights and evidence.

Fast growth means we’re trying to answer questions that constantly change, which is why we’ve created a new function called Team RAD – Research, Analytics, and Data Science, which I have the privilege of leading.

Research and data science, combined

RAD brings together our product research and product analytics (aka data science) teams into a single org with the goal of creating and sharing a holistic understanding of our customers, their needs, and their product behaviors.

“Our insights are used to shape strategy, to help the company focus on what matters most, and to build products that deliver real value to our customers and our business”

Our mission is to drive effective, evidence-based decisions through research and data science. Our insights are used to shape strategy, to help the company focus on what matters most, and to build products that deliver real value to our customers and our business.

This remit involves a few different strands of work:

  • We define metrics, set targets, measure results and outcomes, and size new opportunities.
  • We influence product roadmaps and product strategy through experimentation, exploratory analysis, and formative research
  • We democratize data and research across the company, and empower evidence-based decision making.
  • We create frameworks, build key data tools and models, and constantly iterate on our platform and processes.
  • We build customer empathy and advance a shared understanding of our customers and their behaviors across Intercom.

Defining new values

When creating a new team, it’s crucial to define the principles that we work by. These values are applied across different scenarios, and guide us in our decision-making – no matter the problem or challenge we’re tasked with, we try to apply these values to our approach.

We are evidence-driven yet opinionated

We bring world-class research, data, and insights to all important decisions. We inject objectivity and facts to all situations. We balance rigor with a bias for progress. We take time to form, share, and evangelize our own thinking and recommendations based on our findings. Our opinions are proportional to the strength of the evidence at hand.

We are true strategic partners

We are diplomatic, trusted partners to leaders and teams across Intercom. We invest time in building domain expertise, in asking questions, and in fostering relationships. We go above and beyond to surface insights.

“We empower and challenge our partners to think differently”

We respectfully push back when necessary. We empower and challenge our partners to think differently. We are part of the decision-making team.

We focus on the decision

We are laser focused on the highest-impact work for our team and for Intercom. We always ask ourselves : “ Is this the right project to take on?” We never produce insights that are simply good to know. We focus on priorities that either drive tangible decisions for the business or help our team and our foundations scale. We follow through to ensure our work is actioned. We say no thoughtfully and often. We help each other and our company focus on what matters most.

We spend less time the next time

We invest in foundations that help us scale our impact and automate our work. We balance near-term priorities with critical longer-term initiatives.

“We spend time to ensure core work is consistent, reproducible, and accessible to our team and to others”

We spend time to ensure core work is consistent, reproducible, and accessible to our team and to others. Our definition of done means we’ve communicated our work, we’ve driven a decision, and we’ve taken core learnings forward as a team.

We combine passion, creativity, and mastery

We are expert practitioners of research and data science. We hold a high bar for the quality of our research and analytics. We invest in mastery of our craft and understand that mastery takes time and reflection. We thoughtfully explore new ways to combine quantitative and qualitative methods to drive impact. We communicate our work with creativity and conviction. We share and inspire each other and folks across Intercom with our knowledge and passion for research and data science.

We’re hiring

If this approach to solving deep customer problems through product research and data science appeals to you, please apply – we’re hiring for numerous roles on the team.

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